The Final Detail Page 47

team. His fastball was back over ninety, and his curves were breaking as if they were accepting signals from a remote control. He got better with each outing, and the Yankees grabbed first place. The public was appeased. For a little while anyway, Myron guessed. He had stopped paying attention, but he could imagine the backlash against the Mayor family when Clu tested positive for drugs.

Myron was led immediately into Sophie Mayor's office. She and Jared both stood to greet him. Sophie Mayor was probably mid-fifties, what was commonly called a handsome woman, her hair gray and neat, her back straight, her handshake firm, her arms tawny, her eyes twinkling with hints of mischief and cunning. Jared was twenty-fiveish. He wore his hair parted on the right with no hint of style, wire-rimmed glasses, a blue blazer, and a polka dot bow tie. Youths for George Will.

The office was sparsely decorated, or maybe it just appeared that way because the scene was dominated by a moose head hanging on a wall. A dead moose actually. A live moose is so hard to hang. Quite the decorating touch. Myron tried not to make a face. He almost said, "You must have hated this moose," a la Dudley Moore in Arthur but refrained. With age comes maturity.

Myron shook Jared's hand, then turned toward Sophie Mayor.

Sophie pounced. "Where the hell have you been, Myron?"

"Excuse me?"

She pointed to a chair. "Sit."

Like he was a dog. But he obeyed. Jared too. Sophie stayed on her feet and glowered down at him.

"In court yesterday they said something about your being in the Caribbean," she continued.

Myron made a noncommittal "uh-huh" sound.

"Where were you?"

"I was away."

"Away?"

"Yes."

She looked over at her son, then back at Myron. "For how long?"

"Three weeks."

"But Miss Diaz told me you were in town."

Myron said nothing.

Sophie Mayor made two fists and leaned toward him. "Why would she tell mfe that, Myron?"

"Because she didn't know where I was."

"In other words, she lied to me."

Myron did not bother replying.

"So where were you?" she pressed.

"Out of the country."

"The Caribbean?"

"Yes."

"And you never told anyone?"

Myron shifted in his chair, trying to find an opening or gain some sort of footing here. "I don't mean to sound rude," he said, "but I don't see how my whereabouts are any of your business."

"You don't?" A sharp chortle passed her lips. She looked at her son as if to say, Do you believe this guy?, then redirected her laser grays back toward Myron. "I relied on you," she said.

Myron said nothing.

"I bought this team and I decided to be hands-off. I know software. I know computers. I know business. I really don't know much about baseball. But I made one decision. I wanted Clu Haid. I had a feeling about him. I thought he still had something left. So I traded for him. People thought I was nuts-three good prospects for one has-been. I understood that concern. So I went to you, Myron, remember?"

"Yes."

"And you assured me he was going to stay clean."

"Wrong," Myron said. "I said he wanted to stay clean."

"Wanted, was going to... What is this, a lesson in semantics?"

"He was my client," Myron said. "It's my job to worry about his interests."

"And damn mine?"

"That's not what I said."

"Damn integrity and ethics too? Is that the way you work, Myron?"

"That's not it at all. Sure, we wanted this trade to happen-"

"You wanted it badly," she corrected him.

"Fine, we wanted it badly. But I never promised you he'd stay clean because it's not something I or anyone else can guarantee. I assured you we would try our hardest. I made it part of the deal. I gave you the right to randomly test him at any time."

"You gave me the right? I demanded it! And you fought me on it every step of the way."

"We shared the risk," Myron said. "I made his salary contingent on his staying clean. I let you put in a strict morals clause."

She smiled, crossed her arms. "You know who you sound like? Those hypocritical car commercials where General Motors or Ford tout all the pollution-saving devices they've put on their cars. As though they did it on their own. As though they woke up one day more concerned with the environment than the bottom line. They leave out the fact that the government forced them to put on those devices, that they fought the government tooth and nail the whole way."

"He was my client," Myron said again.

"And you think that's an all-purpose excuse?"

"It's my job to

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